Re: [CR]What did the old builders have in mind?

Example: Racing:Wayne Stetina

Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 20:27:15 -0400
Subject: Re: [CR]What did the old builders have in mind?
From: Richard M Sachs <>

Dennis Young <> writes: "Would you care to elaborate on how workmanship was affected by period a as applied to bicycles within our area of interest? Are you saying that the makers of yesteryear had to work faster to survive, therefore the level of "quality" deemed appropriate by the top names was different than today? It seems odd that some bikes by a specific maker within a certain period were well done, and others sloppy. Not being a frame builder, I may be taking liberties here, but if the challenge of good workmanship is not a priority, the work would seem to be pretty boreing. The interest lies in the financial profits? I hope our heroes weren't wealthy and bored. I'd like to get a better idea of the mind set of the old builders." **************************

dennis, the best way for me to answer this is to use a list reply i wrote several year's ago - i found it in my blog entries. in short, consumers are guilty of "projecting" in a similar way to how then-new US builders did (at least how "i" did...) in the 70s. let me know if this helps. it might lead to other questions, but i believe it speaks to some of yours. e-RICHIE chester, ct

here it is: "...your extrapolating of my point is correct and on the mark. the flame we (all of us) are trying to keep burning is based in emotion and subjectivity. you're right to suggest that it may have never been lit to begin with. this is not cynicism on my part; it's an opinion based on real life experiences within the industry. i cannot speak for ???!??, but i once used the "iconoclastic" italian framebuilders as a role model. <cut> we all need to find something to aspire to. my aspirations were based on what i read, and what i "thought", and the fantasies i concocted when i was, uh, new. several years in the biz and 5-6 trips to italy later have exposed me to a reality that has little overlap with what i expected in my earlier days. these points have all been covered before and are in the archives. in essence, tho' we (the 'merican builders...) were trying to emulate and hopefully, one day, catch up to our euro counter- parts, we created something that did not exist over there. one-man shops, or small production artisanal shops were not the norm. they were and are anomalies. i'd say, to a brand, not one shop would fill the description that henry gave of, "a frame handcrafted by 'Luigi'..." the irony, for me at least, is that the products-all through the ensuing years-have been of a high quality, whether it was handmade, or lovingly crafted, or custom-made, or whatdeva! the mythology (bad word choice, but you get my drift) is something that we all attach to it. it is not something that these makers used to market their bicycles.